Five years ago, I went in search of my maternal grandparents graves, I had never been there. A cemetery on the edge of the village of North Star, Michigan. The village was about as lively as the cemetery. Virtually all of the businesses were closed, even the bar had gone out of business and was for sale. There was one remaining church in town. *
Growing up there were lots of local jokes about the village of Lum, Michigan. One of my father's flying buddies had a large farm there, mowed a grass landing strip and put up signs for Lum International Airport. He got into trouble for flying back from Canada without stopping for customs and immigration one summer afternoon.** After that he asked the FAA to register his landing strip as an airport, and figured out that he was close enough to the border that as an official airport, if he called ahead and asked, customs and immigration had to have someone drive over and check incoming planes. Don't mess with bright farmers. He encouraged his flying buddies to do the same, just to mess with customs. ***
I had never been to Lum. The airport is gone, replaced by a golf course. There are a couple of dozen homes, and the rest of the town is gone. The local market and even the post office closed. Too many sprawlmarts 10 miles away.
My "home town" is changed from what it was 50 years ago. At one time there were three grocery markets, today there are none. The hardware store is still there, as it has been for 150 years, now operated by one of my high school classmates. But the town is still there. Hanging on.
* We did find the graves -
** He had been fishing
*** We never landed at Lum, by that time dad was renting airplanes and was reluctant to land a rental plane on a grass strip. He never flew across the border.